Accessing Support from the FSLCs: The Counselling Process
What Will Happen in Counselling?
For individual counselling, students and/or their family will meet with the counsellor to discuss the concerns and presenting problems. The counsellor will assess the situation and then work with the student and/or family to develop a treatment plan. The treatment plan will be made up of goals and strategies or plans to attain these goals. The counsellor will facilitate sessions that work toward reaching these goals. These goals will be discussed and reviewed regularly with the student and/or family.
How is Counselling Accessed?
Counselling is accessed by making a request through a school staff member, drop into the counselor's office, leave a note in the counsellor's school mailbox or call the counsellor directly.
What are the Risks and Benefits of Counselling?
Counselling provides many benefits for the student. Students have told us that counselling has helped them to gain various skills to deal with many different problems, and that they like having someone safe and private to talk to. Counselling also has risks. Talking about concerns or problems may cause uncomfortable thoughts or feeling to come up. Although this is normal, it sometimes does not feel very good. Please discuss these feelings with the counsellor.
What if the Counsellor Cannot Help?
If the presenting concerns require long-term help or the student and/or family members are in need of a specific service that we do not provide, the counsellor will give you the contact information for other professionals in the community that may be able to help.
Are the Counselling Services Private? Will the School get Confidential Information from the Counsellor?
A counselling file will be maintained on any student accessing counselling services. These files are kept secure and private from school staff and others.
Confidentiality is a very important part of the Family School Liaison Program. Counsellors are obligated to keep private the information gained in the counselling relationship. This disclosure of such confidential information will occur only:
- If the counsellor feels it is in the student's best interest informations may be shared with legal guardians. For older students this will occur only after consultation with the student.
- If the counsellor feels it is in the student's best interest information may be shared with school staff or other professionals. This will occur only with written consent by the legal guardian.
- If there is an emergent risk of physical and/or emotional danger to the student or anyone else, the counsellor is legally obligated to report this information.
- If the student shares any information of physical, emotional or sexual harm to him or her or any other minor or dependent person, the counsellor is legally obligated to report this information.
- If the counsellor is subpoenaed by the court of law to release the confidential file, the counsellor must do so.
Part of the Family School Liaison Program involves regular supervision with the Clinical Team Leader which allows staff to consult and develop new strategies or approaches when working with a student. The FSLC's also participate in case consultations with other counsellors and professionals. Counsellors share cases without any names or identifying information when possible. This is a helpful process for both the counsellor and the student as it ensures the best possible counselling service is provided.
Counsellors are required to share with the school administrators the names of the students receiving counselling.
Where is Counselling Information on the Student Stored? Do Students or Family Have Access to this Information? Is Information put on the Internet?
Counsellors keep notes regarding counselling sessions. These notes are kept safe in a locked filing cabinet when not being used. A legal guardian can have access to these notes according to FOIPP (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy) regulations.
What are the Rights of the Student or Family?
The student and/or family members have the right to ask questions or get clarification at any time in the counselling process. The student and/or family members have the right to refuse any technique or activity he or she does not wish to engage in. In addition, because involvement in the Family School Liaison Program is completely voluntary, the student and/or family members have the right to stop receiving counselling sessions at any time, upon notifying the counsellor.